The Irish in the South, 1815-1877

By: David T. Gleeson.

Price: $23.95

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The only comprehensive study of Irish immigrants in the nineteenth-century South, this book makes a valuable contribution to the story of the Irish in America and to our understanding of southern culture.

The Irish who migrated to the Old South struggled to make a new home in a land where they were viewed as foreigners and were set apart by language, high rates of illiteracy, and their own self-identification as temporary exiles from famine and British misrule. They countered this isolation by creating vibrant, tightly knit ethnic communities in the cities and towns across the South where they found work, usually menial jobs. Finding strength in their communities, Irish immigrants developed the confidence to raise their voices in the public arena, forcing native southerners to recognize and accept them--first politically, then socially.

The Irish integrated into southern society without abandoning their ethnic identity. They displayed their loyalty by fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War and in particular by opposing the Radical Reconstruction that followed. By 1877, they were a unique part of the "Solid South." Unlike the Irish in other parts of the United States, the Irish in the South had to fit into a regional culture as well as American culture in general. By following their attempts to become southerners, we learn much about the unique experience of ethnicity in the American South.

Title: The Irish in the South, 1815-1877

Author: David T. Gleeson.

Illustrator: Reg. Price: $23.95

Categories: Ireland,

Publisher: University of North Carolina Press: c2001

ISBN Number: 0807849685

ISBN Number 13: 9780807849682

Binding: paperback

Book Details: 296 pages, 6 x 9 1/4, 12 illus., 7 tables, append., notes, bibl., index , paperback, University of North Carolina Press

Seller ID: 849685

Description: The only comprehensive study of Irish immigrants in the nineteenth-century South, this book makes a valuable contribution to the story of the Irish in America and to our understanding of southern culture.
The Irish who migrated to the Old South struggled to make a new home in a land where they were viewed as foreigners and were set apart by language, high rates of illiteracy, and their own self-identification as temporary exiles from famine and British misrule. They countered this isolation by creating vibrant, tightly knit ethnic communities in the cities and towns across the South where they found work, usually menial jobs. Finding strength in their communities, Irish immigrants developed the confidence to raise their voices in the public arena, forcing native southerners to recognize and accept them--first politically, then socially.
The Irish integrated into southern society without abandoning their ethnic identity. They displayed their loyalty by fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War and in particular by opposing the Radical Reconstruction that followed. By 1877, they were a unique part of the "Solid South." Unlike the Irish in other parts of the United States, the Irish in the South had to fit into a regional culture as well as American culture in general. By following their attempts to become southerners, we learn much about the unique experience of ethnicity in the American South.

About Author
David T. Gleeson, a native of Ireland, is assistant professor of history at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina.

Reviews
Winner of the 2001 Donald Murphy Prize for a Distinguished First Book, American Conference on Irish Studies

"Gleeson's book is a great contribution toward understanding the complicated nature of the southern Irish in American history."--Choice

"Gleeson makes a convincing case that the southern Irish represent an important untold story of the Irish in America."--American Historical Review

"Thoroughly researched and clearly and often engagingly written, this is an important book that deserves serious attention."--Journal of American History

"Gleeson's extensive research and the clarity of his writing make this book an invaluable contribution to the historical literature on the nineteenth-century South."--Journal of Southern History

"Deeply researched. . . . [Gleeson] provides a fascinating and fresh insight into the role of the Southern Irish in the post-Civil War years and Reconstruction."--Civil War Book Review

"[Gleeson] informs our understanding of the Irish in all parts of America, and . . . deserves praise and thanks for telling us something of those lives."--Journal of American Ethnic History

"An accessible and wide-ranging survey of Irish assimilation in the South. . . . Gleeson's work both expands the story of Irish Americans and delightfully complicates visions of the economic, social, religious and political experience of 'plain folk' in the antebellum South."--Georgia Historical Quarterly

"Historians have long recognized the need for a comprehensive study of Irish Americans living in the 19th-century South. David T. Gleeson fills the critical gap with this insightful and impressively-researched work. . . written in clear prose and accentuated with useful and revealing statistics. . . . Readers will learn much from this important work."--Virginia Quarterly Review

"[An] insightful and impressively-researched work. . . . Written in clear prose and accentuated with useful and revealing statistics."--Virginia Quarterly Review

"David T. Gleeson demonstrates that Irish America comes in different shades of green. In his perceptive, well-researched, and readable The Irish in the South, 1815-1877 he reveals its regional diversity. Although there were many religious, political, and cultural similarities between the Irish throughout the United States, local situations colored attitudes, opinions, and values. As Gleeson emphasizes, those below the Mason-Dixon line were as culturally southern in their conduct and perspectives as they were Irish."--Lawrence J. McCaffrey, author of The Irish Catholic Diaspora in America and Textures of Irish America

Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Forgotten People of the Old South
1. The Irish Diaspora
2. Urban Pioneers in the Old South
3. Earning a Living
4. Family, Community, and Ethnic Awareness
5. Keeping the Faith
6. The Irish, the Natives, and Politics
7. The Know-Nothing Challenge
8. Slavery, State Rights, and Secession
9. The Green and the Gray
10. Irish Confederates
11. Postwar Integration
Conclusion: Irish Southerners
Appendix: Occupational Status Classification
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index
Tables
1. Irish Population of the South as a Percentage of the Total and White Populations in 1850 and 1860
2. Number of Irish in the South in 1850 and 1860
3. Irish Population of Selected Southern Cities in 1850 and 1860
4. Irish Population of Selected Southern Cities as a Percentage of the Total and White Populations in 1850 and 1860
5. Occupational Status of Irish Men Aged 15 and Over in Selected Southern Cities, 1850
6. Occupational Status of Irish Men Aged 15 and Over in Selected Southern Cities, 1860
7. Numbers of Irish Men Aged 15 and Over Employed in Skilled and White-Collar Occupations, 1860
Illustrations
Father Jeremiah O'Neill Sr.
Levee workers and draymen
St. Patrick's Church, New Orleans
Bishop John England
Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, Savannah, Georgia
Margaret Haughery
Statue of Margaret Haughery in New Orleans
Father Ignatius J. Mullon
Patrick Murphy
Captain Felix Hughes
Major General Patrick Ronayne Cleburne, CSA
Statue to the Irish Jasper Greens, Savannah, Georgia